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Ellen HansonEllen Hanson (Photo from Unified Government)
Ellen Hanson, former police chief of Lenexa, Kan., has been named interim chief of police in Kansas City, Kan., starting January 2014, according to a news release. She will become the first woman chief of police in Kansas City, Kan.
Unified Government Administrator Dennis Hays announced the appointment of Hanson as interim chief of police in January, according to the news release. She replaces Chief Rick Armstrong, who announced his pending retirement, taking effect in December. Armstrong will become the Kansas City, Kan., school district's chief of police in February 2014, it was announced this week.
“I am looking forward to a brief return to public service and believe that there is no better place to do this than at the KCK Police Department,” Hanson said in the news release.
After a 37-year career in law enforcement, Hanson retired in October 2012. The former Lenexa chief has roots in Wyandotte County. Chief Hanson is a 1966 graduate of Wyandotte High School was named to the Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools “Reasons to Believe” alumni honor roll in 2006 for her numerous accomplishments. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Kansas and a master's in management from Baker University. Hanson is also a 1980 graduate of the FBI’s National Academy and past president of the Johnson County Chiefs and Sheriffs Association and Metropolitan Chiefs and Sheriffs Association.
She became the first female police chief not only in Lenexa, but the Kansas City area. She will also be the first female chief for the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department. She currently serves as the interim CEO of for Wayside Waifs.
The UG traditionally uses an extensive assessment center selection process in the search for qualified applicants to fill the chief of police position, according to the news release. However, since Hays announced his retirement effective in March of 2014, an interim appointment will be made until his successor makes a permanent selection, the news release stated.
“I believe that it’s best for the police department and the community that the new county administrator appoint the next police chief and therefore, I am opting to appoint an interim chief to serve from January through June of 2014,” Hays said in the news release. “Further, the interim chief will not be seeking nor apply for the permanent chief’s position.”
Hanson said, in the news release, that she’s proud of her Kansas City, Kan., roots and feels a strong attachment to her hometown. She worked her way up the career ladder. She’s community-oriented, serving on numerous boards and professional organizations.
Hanson will be taking over an agency that has established an effective community policing concept within the Police Department, which has contributed to a 15 percent reduction in violent crime; a 25-year low, the news release stated.
“This is a great opportunity to work with the members of the KCK Police Department, the Unified Government, and the citizens of my hometown to accomplish what needs to be done to ensure a smooth transition during the first six months of 2014,” she said in the news release.
“I think having Chief Hanson on board is a tremendous opportunity," Mayor Mark Holland said in the news release. "She is a well respected law enforcement professional from here in the metropolitan area and I know she’s going to bring a lot of strength in this interim role."